From the Smiths to Social Media

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“Communicating about Science and the Environment – from the Smiths to Social Media” NRF-SAIAB holds the annual Smith Memorial Lecture in memory of Professor JLB Smith and his wife, Margaret Mary Smith, to commemorate their legacy of discovery and research in Ichthyology and related fields.

The 2017 Smith Memorial Lecture was held on Thursday 21 September. Guest speaker was Judy Mann-Lang, Conservation Strategist at the South African Association for Marine Biological Research in Durban on 
‘Communicating about Science and the Environment – from the Smiths to Social Media’.

The 2017 Smith Memorial Lecture was presented by Dr Judy Mann-Lang, Conservation Strategist at the South African Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR). Abstract: ‘Climate change is a myth’, ‘caring for the environment means that animals are more important than people’.
Many people are increasingly sceptical about science, especially climate science, while others feel that biodiversity conservation is an indulgence for the rich. Yet we know that a key challenge facing the environmental movement is the need for changes in the lifestyle of humans, as environmental issues can only be addressed through a shift in individual attitudes and behaviour. Clearly there is room for improvement in our current approaches to communicating about the environment.
This presentation will look at how environmental communication has evolved over time and will explore South African’s attitudes to both science and the environment.
From rural fishermen to politicians, from preschool kids to grannies, we will then delve into the myriad of communication tools available to address these issues, and look at the effectiveness of some of these tools. Ultimately, if our children are to inherit a healthier planet, we need to do a much better job of communicating why science and the environment matter. Production for Grocott’s Mail by Paddy Donnelly School of Journalism and Media Studies, Rhodes UniversityDescription
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